QAC brings “Nude with Violin” to the stage

Photo: Ladd Johnson

Part of the QAC cast at work rehearsing Noël Coward’s Nude with Violin, left to right,  Nathalie Peron, Daniel Jean, James Carnahan, Marie-Andrée Garneau,  Christiane Letendre, Doug Werden, Herbert Goss,  Helen Gosselin

No, there is not a burlesque show coming to town - instead the cast and crew of the Quebec Art Company spring production have been working hard all winter to bring Noël Coward's classic Nude with Violin to the local stage. This light comedy of manners scrutinizes the world of ‘modern art' by asking that age-old question: what is the value of a man's work and life? Although not one of Coward's most popular plays, it has nevertheless stood the test of time in spite of early criticism of being trite and clichéd. Indeed, according to director Mark Lepitre, "the interest lies in the writing. Immensely witty, the play asks several fundamentally pertinent questions still today, some fifty years after its original production".

This is Lepitre's second foray into the world of directing after his successful debut with Arms and the Man last spring. He seems to be enjoying it as much as ever, as is the cast, with Lepitre describing the situation as increasing intense. "With only three weeks of rehearsals left before we actually go on, the excitement is almost palpable", he reports. The cast of 14 includes many familiar QAC faces, some of whom have been absent in recent productions. Several actors new to the company are involved as well. Indeed, auditions for this production last January brought out over 30 people eager for a role - a positive sign that interest in English-language theatre is alive and well here in Québec City. For those more interesting in being spectators, they will have their chance in just over two weeks when the play opens to the general public on April 30, followed by performances on May 1-2. For more information visit the QAC website ( or call 418 254-6552 to reserve tickets .